November 28, 2021
Beech forests are typical of deciduous broad-leaved forests (temperate deciduous forests) found in temperate zones. In Japan, it is a forest centered on beech that is distributed from the mountains of the Kyushu region to the flatlands of southern Hokkaido.
Japanese beech forest
Beech forests are representative of temperate plant communities in Japan. In the central and southern part of Honshu, the flat land is a laurel forest zone, and the original appearance is that an evergreen broad-leaved forest is established. In colder areas and higher altitude areas, there are forests dominated by deciduous trees, and beech forests are representative of this forest. In addition to beech, it is a forest mixed with Quercus crispula. Since the leaves are thinner than the evergreen forest, the forest is bright and has a good view. However, in Japanese beech forests, the forest floor is often covered with sasa. On the Pacific side, it is a difficult forest to walk because it can reach up to 2m, such as Suzutake.
There are few places in Japanese forests that retain their ancient appearance. There are only a few so-called primeval forests. The evergreen broad-leaved forest was too large for humans to live in, so there are almost no places where a cohesive area remains. However, in the deciduous forest, there was a place where a large area remained, slightly away from the living area. The waves of the expanded forestation in the Showa era destroyed a considerable number of places. Hinokihoramaru in the Tanzawa Mountains in the one-day mountaineering area near Tokyo, which was the only remaining example, was protected by the mountain worship of Shugendo, and the mountaintop was a dense primordial beech forest until the latter half of the Showa period, but rapidly. It has been lost. The Shirakami Mountains has been registered as a World Heritage Site because it is a valuable area where things close to the primeval forest of deciduous broad-leaved forests remain together.
Europe north of the central part corresponds to the climatic zone around Hokkaido in Japan, and is a region covered with beech forest. The beech forest over there had a bright forest floor, and in the spring, so-called spring ephemeral flowers bloomed and it seemed to be a beautiful place. However, due to the development, there are almost no virgin forests, and the high evaluation of the Shirakami Mountains seems to be related to that.
In the Hachimandaira Mountains, which belong to the same Ou Mountains located in the south of the Shirakami Mountains, there is a mountain called Yamakemori, which is read as beech by writing "Yamake" of "hair growing in the mountains" in the Tohoku region. You can see a part of the size of the beech forest.
Nabekurayama beech virgin forest